Summer news round-up

By Emma Serlin
September 11, 2014

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Autumn’s coming on thick and fast, no two ways about it. But before we fully embrace it, we’d like to offer you a look back at a couple of the top stories on accents, communication and the English language that have caught our attention over the summer months.

Find out how to present breaking news straight from the BBC’s Jane Hill, decide where you stand on the ongoing debate surrounding accentism in the UK, and much more.

Our stories this time:

  1. Effective Communication Ranks First Amongst Employers
  2. Accentism in the UK—Where do you stand?
  3. Presenting Breaking News—With BBC’s Jane Hill
  4. Mind the Perception Gap

1. Effective Communication Ranks First


Source — The Telegraph, 30th July

LSW has (unsurprisingly) always seen the massive value in the ability to communicate effectively. This has now been echoed in a recent study, “Graduate Recruitment, Learning and Development” undertaken by education provider Kaplan. Here effective communication was the graduate skill employers valued the most in prospective employees. More traditional “technical skills” are only ranked in 24th place, with employers happy to train graduates in business specific skills but indicating that “they needed their graduate recruits to arrive ready with skills required to be an effective member of a team”.

Read more about this story over at the Telegraph here, and read the original Kaplan report here.

2. Accentism in the UK—Where do you stand?


Source: The Guardian, 9th July

“Leaving Wales for England, swapping animated working class for anaemic middle class, losing the accent – it all added up to deracination. Perfect for journalism, the hollow world of the perpetual outsider, but damaging for life.”

Is your accent an intrinsic part of your identity that shouldn’t be interfered with? Can we liken “accentism” in class divided Great Britain to racism? Stephen Moss gave an interesting account of his personal experiences of accentism as a Welshman in this Guardian article. At LSW we have lots of thoughts on this, particularly as LSW founder and director Emma Serlin did her psychology Masters thesis on accent identity. Look out for her blog dedicated to this topic next week.

3. Presenting Breaking News

Source : BBC, 27th August

If presentations at work or in university make you fearful, imagine presenting a breaking news story with sensitive information and conflicting sources live on air to a national audience! As Jane Hill, senior presenter on BBC News 24, comments, on a news channel, most of the stories are a surprise to not only the audience at home, but the journalists tasked with presenting it.

Overwhelming, and carrying huge responsibility, “breaking news is also what makes our job interesting”. As part of the BBC Academy College of Journalism series, this makes fascinating viewing even for non-journalists.

The key piece of advice, which is probably far harder to stick to than it initially seems:

Stay Calm and Stick to the Events.

Watch it here.

4. Mind the Perception Gap


Source:  Huffington Post blog, 28th July

“Sometimes merely focusing on communicating with your team isn't enough. Why? Because the intention you set forth is often misunderstood by your audience. The gap between what you mean to communicate and what is actually communicated is known as the Perception Gap.”

In this Huffington Post blog, Anne Loehr gives us an interesting look at the “Perception Gap”—the place of misunderstanding that stands between what you intended to communicate, and what you actually communicated.

A great topic as every one of us can probably think of several times where we haven’t been interpreted in the way we intended. It’s fairly ubiquitous, but can have dire consequences as little misunderstandings snowball into bigger ones  which erode trust and credibility.

Read here for how to avoid perception gaps, and tips for preventing, and managing them.


That’s all for the summer round up, but watch out for more news stories coming from LSW in the future. For more in-depth discussion of topics around communication, language and accent, be sure to check out the rest of our blog.

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